Join Date: Nov 1997
Location: The Dawn of Time
That's kind of the point of a critical review. It's to give you information on the game and whether that person thought it was a worthwhile game or not. They're perfectly within their rights to say a game blows chunks and you shouldn't buy it.
If you agree with their criticisms, cool, if not then you may like it anyway. Not all reviews are helpful, but I think bashing critics because they don't like a game you happen to like doesn't make much sense. If only people who agreed with you were allowed to post reviews, that wouldn't be very helpful, since not everyone agrees with you anyway (and that goes for anyone here). It helps if I know what the person likes, but that's not always clear. So I like it when they say what they liked or didn't like, explaining why.
But it's not their job to only tell you the good things about a game and entice you to buy it. As long as a reviewer isn't lying, I am happy when they point out shortcomings in a product (here I'm speaking about a review of anything, not just of say, the Force Unleashed).
That said, some game companies (I'm not here pointing the finger at LucasArts, I'm just saying it happens) basically hold reviewers hostage. By that I mean let's say the writer works for a magazine or website, and that website or magazine is dependent upon advertising dollars to stay afloat. Let's say that the game company is one of those advertisers. Sometimes game companies put pressure on those sites/magazines that if they get too many bad reviews, they'll put their ads. Thus, corruption enters in, so that they will only give positive reviews for their advertisers or risk losing that money. Hence, reviewers may fear that they'll be blamed for their site/mag losing advertising dollars and so feel pressure to give certain games a passing grade, even if they personally thought they were unworthy.
Another risk is that sometimes reviewers can be corrupted, because they may get free games, access to behind-the-scenes interviews and other freebies that may be taken as "bribes" to get them to give positive reviews, and they fear losing that access if they are too harsh on certain company's products.
Now all of those things of things would stem from companies that try to get good reviews by putting that kind of pressure on magazines/sites they interact with. In many cases these interests don't even represent the game developers themselves (as many games are so expensive nowadays they are managed by big companies more like movie companies, not just a small closely knit team of programmers and artists or even a single designer like in the old days). So it may not be the fault of the guys/gals who actually made the game even when it does happen. But somewhere down the line some of these companies become corrupt (by the Dark Side!).
On the other hand, while those risks of corruption exist, there are also those random online folks whom you don't know much about, who may not be held accountable or have any standards, that might give reviews for games they haven't played, or games they pirated and report technical problems that don't exist in the real product, etc. That sort of thing can happen to.
But putting all that aside, before I buy a game that I'm not already sure I am going to love, I read the reviews, I look at scores, to see what I'm getting myself into. I also value the input of other games, especially if I know they like the same kinds of things I like. If a demo version is available, I'll play that if I can, to see if it's a game I am willing to spend my money on. That said, I haven't paid full price for a game in a long, long time. I just don't have the spare cash to blow on a game, especially if it's going to be short and have limited replay value. So I wait until I get a bargain or a gift or whatever usually. That lets the dust settle as well and you can more easily separate the wheat from the chaff.
Anyway, that's my 25 cents worth. Don't get so upset if critics disagree with you, I say. Those reviews exist to help you, if you need them.
I personally didn't have a lot of problem with The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition except that it felt a little buggy at times, and there were places where it seems they skimped on depth, while they really focused on other areas. Like it seems they pumped their time and effort mostly into making the cutscenes, beautiful architecture and graphics, weather, and the force physics, but they didn't spend much on making the saber combat complex and interesting from a skill based standpoint. They made too many of the battles into interactive cutscenes via the "quick time event" stuff. But the game does well what it sets out to do, which is to give you a good time messing around with the Force, and feeling like you're part of a Star Wars type story. Maybe if I had played the vanilla version first, I'd be upset that more wasn't added in this "special edition." I enjoyed the new missions, short as they were. I'm a little disappointed that the "alternate ending" wasn't expanded into a whole second campaign which would have been great. But I'm sure they were spending that time and money to create the sequel, which I'm just starting now. I've heard that criticized for having a weaker story and not enough new material to keep interest. I found the game so cheap I had to give it a chance. So I'll be the judge of that...
Last edited by Kurgan; 01-10-2012 at 04:15 AM.